Hearing for Punxsy Man Charged With Pointing Loaded Gun at Teen Set for Today

WINSLOW TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man is facing a hearing today on criminal charges from an incident where he allegedly pointed a loaded gun in a teen’s face.

Court documents indicate 39-year-old Joshua Michael Spence is scheduled to stand for a preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16, on the following charges:

– Terroristic Threats With Intent To Terrorize Another, Misdemeanor 1
– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Misdemeanor 1
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 3
– Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact, Summary

He is currently free on $25,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from an investigation that began in July.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, on July 16, DuBois-based State Police received a report of suspected child abuse from Jefferson County Children and Youth Services (CYS) and began an investigation.

The report stated that an in-home fight had occurred between Joshua Michael Spence and a known 16-year-old victim at a residence in Winslow Township, Jefferson County, during which time Spence reportedly aimed a loaded shotgun at the victim’s head, with the safety off.

On August 3, police went to the residence where the incident occurred and spoke to the victim’s mother.

The victim’s mother said she believed the incident had occurred in May. She reported the victim got off the school bus and came into the house, and then Spence and the victim began arguing. She told police the victim went upstairs and went into the bathroom, then Spence also went upstairs a short time later, and she heard Spence begin screaming “open the door” while pounding on a door upstairs, according to the complaint.

The victim’s mother reported she then heard Spence and the victim fighting and could tell the altercation had become physical, so she ran upstairs, and when she got there, she saw a gun lying on the floor near Spence and the victim, who were “wrestling” on the floor. The victim’s mother told police she then sprayed pepper spray on Spence’s face, and the fight ended, the complaint indicates.

The victim’s mother stated she didn’t know why the gun was out and didn’t see anyone handling it at the time of the incident. She said that she then picked up the gun and carried it away. However, she noted that when she put it down, it fired. She told police she didn’t handle guns regularly and didn’t have much experience with guns, but she hadn’t touched the safety or done anything to the gun other than moving it, according to the complaint.

The victim’s mother stated she knows the gun was loaded and the safety was off because she did not change anything from the time she picked it up to when she had put it down and it fired, the complaint states.

Police then interviewed the juvenile victim.

The victim told police that when he came home from school on the day of the incident, he and Spence began arguing about how Spence had treated his girlfriend the prior day. The victim reported Spence then “went off” and began screaming at him, so he went upstairs and locked himself in the bathroom to get away from Spence, according to the complaint.

The victim indicated that while he was in the bathroom, he heard a gunshot out in the back yard, and knew it was Spence. He reported he then heard Spence come back inside and “stomp” up the stairs, the complaint states.

The victim told police Spence then began pending on the bathroom door and screaming at him to open it. He stated he opened the door and found Spence standing there, pointing the shotgun at his face. The victim reported he reacted quickly and grabbed the gun barrel, pushed it away, and tackled Spence to the ground. He told police he and Spence then wrestled on the ground for a while until his mother ran in and spayed Spence with pepper spray and the fight ended, the complaint indicates.

While police were at the residence, they found a single gunshot hole through an interior upstairs wall, the complaint notes.

The charges were filed against Spence through Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana’s office on Wednesday, October 6.

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